Following Mirrored (2015), Towering (2013), and more, Flinn continues her retellings of folk and fairy tales, this time featuring “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” and “The Ugly Duckling.”
Flinn frames her story with the ongoing tale of Kendra, a benevolent witch born in 1652 but an eternal teenager, and her continuing quest for her one true love, James. Escaping 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, where Ann Putnam runs afoul of a wolf, she moves around, finally staying for a while in Bavaria, where, in 1812, she runs a small bookshop. She tells the story of Cornelia, who falls in love with Karl and ends up having to spin straw into gold. But is it Karl who really loves her or the deformed bookshop assistant? Kendra then recounts a tale of the London Blitz in which a girl marries a man whose face she is not allowed to see for a year. Finally she ends with the story of a short boy who loses his best friend when Kendra herself grants his wish to be tall. The author tells each of these stories from the point of view of the main character with the emphasis on romance, including Kendra’s with James, whom she occasionally finds through the centuries. She’s got her formula down to a science, and her fans will not be disappointed.
These fizzily undemanding romantic spins on familiar tales go down easy. (Paranormal romance. 12-18)